Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Net Neutrality, Why you should care.

Since Obama has come out in favor of Net Neutrality, I guess it was inevitable that some folks would be against it. For those folks, get your head out of your ass.

You really want to trust AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, Time Warner, etc. to do the right thing and keep the internet equal for everyone.  These are the same companies that cause citizens of the USA to have the highest cable, cell phone and internet costs of any industrialized country and yet our internet speed choices are lower.  These are the companies that fought and "encouraged" legislatures across to US to deny small communities the ability to offer their own citizens free wifi.  Just to put it in perspective, here are a some statistics from 2012:
Americans pay four times as much as the French for an Internet triple-play package—phone, cable TV and Internet—at an average of $160 per month versus $38 per month.
The French get global free calling and worldwide live television. Their Internet is also 10 times faster at downloading information and 20 times faster uploading it.
America has gone from #1 in Internet speed (when we invented it) to 29th in the world and falling.
Bulgaria is among the countries with faster Internet service.
Americans pay 38 times as much as the Japanese for Internet data.
Now, how does this relate to Net Neutrality?  The reason these companies want to eliminate Net Neutrality is that they can then set up tiered internet service.  Therefore, if you're on a Comcast pipe, good luck getting Netflix or Amazon Prime movies at any speed worth a damn.  But that's the least of it.   Walmart.com can now pay Comcast to basically slow down service to it's competitors or at least create a noticeable difference between loading Walmart.com and Amazon.com, that if you want to shop online, you'll basically have to figure out which companies have paid the pipe(r).  You'll be choosing your internet provider, not only by how good their customer service and network is, but by which companies are paying for faster access to their network.

This also puts US companies at risk, because they will be behind an artificial wall that slows down their service.  No small start-up is going to be able to pay for top tier prices so internet start-ups will have a significant advantage if their hosted outside the US.  Less innovation will happen in the US compared to rest of the world, and we will lose jobs as well as opportunities.

But go ahead and be against Net Neutrality, just because Obama is for it.

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